Town to Utilize Grass Carp to Control Aquatic Vegetation in Hecksher Park Pond

Filed under: Around Town,Environment,Huntington,News |

The Huntington Town Board approved a resolution, at the July 24thmeeting, which attempts to eliminate invasive submerged aquatic vegetation in Hecksher Pond, located in Huntington Village.  During the summer months the pond is choked with invasive plant species such as Hornwart, which severely impacts the ponds recreational usage and additionally impacts the aesthetic views that the pond provides.

Pond Spillway

A natural practice used to control invasive pond vegetation is the use of Triploid Grass Carp.  The Grass Carp feed off of the weed growth thus reducing the amount of submerged plant material that would otherwise degrade the pond.  Grass Carp are an effective practice in controlling invasive aquatic plant growth.  However Town officials must realize that a delicate balance is required as stocking too many Grass Carp might devoid the pond of all submerged vegetation.  That scenario will cause a negative impact to the ponds existing Largemouth Bass population.  Additionally many ducks frequent the pond, in part, because they feed off of the submerged vegetation as well.  So it is important not to overstock the pond with Grass Carp.  Furthermore, as realized within the resolution, Grass Carp must not leave the pond via the pond spillway at the northwest corner of the water body.  If Grass Carp escape the pond then they could potentially destroy more desirable ecosystems downstream.  In an effort to prevent this from happening, the Town has a contract with Amma Construction to install a fish barrier at the pond outlet.  This barrier will be constructed of a fiberglass grating and will be installed on the existing spillway.  The contract cost to install such a structure is $16,578.00 dollars.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation must approve a permit prior to the fish being incorporated into the pond and part of that approval process is to ensure the Carp do not escape, thus the necessity of an approved barrier system.

Invasive Aquatic Vegetation

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